NBA Finals: Burned

Kevin Durant drains the go-ahead bucket that allowed the Warriors to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the NBA Finals. Image via The Mercury News.

We finally got it folks, a FULL competitive game in this year’s NBA Finals. There was no blowout, there was no collapse– wait, I lied. There was a collapse and it came curtoesy of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It wasn’t so much a collapse as it was playing with fire all game long, and finally getting burned. Let me make it make sense. 

This game saw the Cavs play their best on both ends of the court. They were successful in slowing the pace of the game down offensively and it gave the Golden State Warriors a bit of trouble. The Cavs were able to get into their draw and kick game and resembled the team that ran roughshod through the Eastern Conference. They finally looked like the defending NBA Champions they are. Defensively the Cavs were ball hawking. Got into the the passing lanes of the Warriors and were able to turn defense into offense. Again, their best performance in this series… for the most part. 

The Cavs played great, got a lead, and then became extremely basketball dumb. For every lead the Cavs took, the Warriors came back. Why? Some credit can go to the Warriors for their own defensive efforts and explosive offense. The reason why was because the Cavs decided to take the lowest percentage shots possible when they got a lead. I’m talking JR Smith hoisting dumb, off balance threes. I’m talking Kyrie Irving shooting threes off of fancy dribbling. Shumpert putting up threes, etc. There was no method to it. There was no drive and kick. Just get ball, hoist three. Low IQ basketball. 

The Cavs would regain the lead late in the 4th quarter and guess what? More low IQ basketball. The five point lead evaporated, Kevin Durant pulls up and drains a three on a fast break, and it was game over. The fire the Cavs had played with all game long, had finally burned them. This fire all but certainly burns them to a crisp as the Warriors took a 3-0 lead. 

No team had ever come back from a 3-1 lead in the Finals until the Cavs last year. They are NOT coming back from 3-0. This series is over even if the Cavs manage to win a game or two. This game will leave mental scars on this squad. They let this get away from and only have themselves to blame. Fire is dangerous, the Cavs found that out the hard way. 

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